BENGALURU: When we enter Sotally Tober on a Thursday evening, it almost seems like everyone else in Bengaluru had the same idea as we did: To kick back with some comforting grub and call it a day. The Residency Road restaurant is fairly crowded for a weekday, the place buzzing with loud conversations and fervent commentary at the World Cup cricket match screened on TV.
Bare-brick walls, wooden decor and dim yellow lights give the place a rustic vibe, one that seems to be popular in various Bengaluru joints these days. But while the interiors seem familiar, the drinks menu is anything so, and many fun and interesting ingredients, such as butter and jam, red velvet, hibiscus and black pepper tincture, catch our eye.
We start with the Scavenger In My Yard and Hibiscus Candy, both drinks that look too pretty to drink and yet too tempting to avoid. The former is a brandy-based cocktail with black pepper tincture that gives it a subtle punch, while the latter is a dark-tinted tequila-based drink with hibiscus, pineapple and egg white. Pleasantly fruity, the drink almost feels like dessert due to its sweet undertone.
For appetisers, we tried the #SoTo Mushroom On Toast and #SoTo Chicken Tandoori. The hashtags, we’re soon told, aren’t to make the dish Insta-friendly but indicate an alcohol infusion. The mushroom (our favourite among the appetisers) was sauted in white wine whereas the chicken was marinated in rum, although we couldn’t quite tell with this one. Next up were the Upinakai Paneer Tikka and #SoTo Pork Belly. While the pork was too sweet for our liking (it’s sautéed in honey and rum), the paneer serves a tangy surprise and we soon find that it’s stuffed with mango pickle.
With the World Cup match on screen, what better main course could we ask for than the latest edition to SoTo’s menu, their pizzas. We sampled the Margherita and Pepperoncini from the vegetarian menu and the Crispy Chicken and the Pepperoni from the non-vegetarian offerings. The pepperoni and chicken didn’t disappoint, but among the veg options, the black olive, jalapenos and bell-pepper topped Pepperoncini made up for the slight blandness of the Margherita.
Some might argue that the beer and pizza combination is sacred, we found that these pizzas went just as well with our cocktails, the second round of which included Summer’s Coming (true to it’s name, it was a light and refreshing mix of gin, watermelon and wine) and Coco Velvet (coconut rum on red velvet, with a sprinkling of spices).
The Coco Velvet can be quite rich and sweet, but we found that sips of the drink alternated with bites of the crispy chicken pizza struck a nice balance of flavour. We may have been a bit caught up with the match but surprisingly, thin-crusted cold pizza isn’t so bad. Thankfully, the pizzas weren’t overloaded with cheese and most of the flavour came from the interesting choice of toppings instead. All in all, it’s safe to say we left Sotally Tober totally satisfied.
Price for two: `1,500